Storm proves economic aid to some stores

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Recovering from the Storm

By Stephen Thomas

SHEPHERDSVILLE - It’s not the economic stimulus plan President Barack Obama had in mind.

With the winter weather hitting the area hard, some businesses have profited as a result.

The businesses have not earned extra cash from price gouging; instead, they are busy with extra business.

Locations such as food markets and gas stations have remained popular, selling food, gas and other household necessities to help residents through desperate times.

The Shell Road Ranger gas station in Hillview lost power for most of Wednesday afternoon. Head cashier Lindsey Muss said gas was unavailable at the time but the store inside remained open.

“We were still open and selling, we did it all by hand,” Muss said.

The store remained “swamped with customers” for a few days, according to Muss. The most popular item of purchase was windshield wiper fluid.

Open restaurants were able to maintain a solid business from local residents searching for hot meals.

Kettle Creek in Mt. Washington remained “extremely busy” throughout the week, according to manager Teresa Elkin.

The restaurant remained open without losing power, Elkin said. That allowed for nearby customers to visit each day.

Restaurants in Shepherdsville near Interstate 65 were not as lucky, however, losing power for part of Wednesday morning.

White Castle assistant general manager Susan Hayes said business was non-stop at the 24-hour establishment.

“It’s given us a little bit of a boost,” she said.

The Shepherdsville White Castle did not run out of supplies, especially when more were delivered from the Elizabethtown location, which remained closed for days.

Hayes said the Shepherdsville store has remained popular at all hours of the day.

Many residents decided not to challenge the dangerous driving conditions. Domino’s Pizza assistant manager Michael Cunningham said the Hillview store remained busy throughout the day Wednesday.

“We were one of the few places open,” he said.

With conditions still hazardous it was left to each driver’s discretion to chance the roads to each customer. Areas including Brooks Hill Road, Bells Mill Road, Heritage Creek, Ruhl Acres and the Zoneton area were among the toughest to deliver, Cunningham said.

“That was up to the drivers, I let them decide where they’ll drive,” he said.

A hot meal helps, but without power some residents were also without heat, water or other necessities.

With a large amount of power outages in both Bullitt and Jefferson County, hotels in Hillview and Shepherdsville remained full throughout the week.

Quality Inn and Suites manager Keith Patel said the Hillview area hotel hosted more Louisville residents than Bullitt Countians.

The hotel lost power for 12 hours on Wednesday, as did other hotels and businesses near Interstate 65. Once power was restored, rooms remained occupied.

“Everybody’s booked up,” said Patel. “All functioning rooms have been occupied. A few were out of order.”

Despite demand, Patel said room rates remained the same price. He added that customers who had power restored at home received their money back for the evening.

“We’re doing as much as we can to help the people here,” he said.